Newcastle United keeps level temper after dramatic comeback draw

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Newcastle United is taking the long view when it comes to Sunday’s come-from-behind 1-1 derby draw against Sunderland.

The St. James Park crowd will be buoyed by the effort and finish shown by Aleksandar Mitrovic and Georginio Wijnaldum in lifting the Magpies to a critical point in the relegation battle.

[ MORE: Match recap | Big Sam stewsWatch Mitrovic score ]

And those same fans might’ve wanted to hear their new boss Rafa Benitez flying high with emotion. He’s not — at least in front of microphones — as the Magpies are still in the drop zone and behind their Tyne-Wear Derby rivals.

From the BBC:

“To win would have been perfect but when you are losing in the first half and keep the same gap, it’s positive. The main thing was that the fans supported us today and we want that in every single game.”

“The players fought ’til the end and the fans were behind us in a difficult situation. We have to do this from the first minute to the last to get more points.

“I think we can stay up. We have to keep working, I believe they can play better and from what I have seen today in the second half, they can do well.”

There was also a scary moment, as Mitrovic appeared to black out on the pitch after a contested ball in the 18, and was gratefully held out of the game. How’s this for a casual analysis of a person blacking out?

“Aleksandar is fine, he wanted to be on the pitch but he lost his conciousness a little bit.”

Oh, he’s fine. We’re glad to hear it, though, as Mitrovic looked to be in bad shape.

As for Wijnaldum, who played a picture-perfect cross to Mitrovic for the first goal, he echoed the thoughts of Benitez.

“We have come back in other games, but I’m still not happy because we wanted to win. The first half was a disappointment, because we conceded and didn’t make the chances we had.”

The Magpies have a huge match at Norwich City next week. The Magpies are three points back of the Canaries and four goals worse in differential, but have played one fewer game.